An attack on a transgender woman that was captured on video has prompted anger and condemnation of transphobia in Paris.
The incident took place outside a Paris subway station during a rally against outgoing Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Sunday, media reports said.
A French LGBTQ advocacy group shared a video of the incident on Twitter Tuesday.
“Everyone should be able to move about freely in public spaces whatever their gender. This video shows it’s not the case and that there is still a lot of progress to be made,” said Joel Deumier, president of SOS Homophobie, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
WARNING: Video contains disturbing content
Agression verbale et physique #transphobe place de la République à Paris. Effet de meute insupportable contre cette personne. Nous adressons tout notre soutien à la victime. Les auteurs de ces actes doivent être sanctionnés. Cc: @Lyes_Alouane pic.twitter.com/Kz1aCPvcuk
— SOS homophobie (@SOShomophobie) April 2, 2019
The video, which has now been viewed more than 1.8 million times, shows a woman being confronted by a vocal crowd that had gathered near the top of a flight of stairs.
A man reached over to the woman and rubbed her hair.
At another point, a woman wearing an Algerian flag grabbed the victim’s arm, in what appeared to be an attempt to lead her down the stairs, away from the crowd.
But the woman tried to make her way through the throng a few seconds later. The video showed men punching and kicking her before uniformed officers stepped in.
The victim, who identified herself as Julia, spoke to several outlets after the video went viral, saying the attack left her humiliated.
“I’m waiting to see justice rendered, and for people to understand a little more that in Paris, in 2019, this kind of aggression just can’t happen,” she said in an interview with BFM Paris.
Julia revient sur son agression transphobe: "on est à Paris en 2019, ce genre d'agression ne peut pas se produire" pic.twitter.com/OwrEKzv8KI
— BFM Paris (@BFMParis) April 3, 2019
Prior to the start of the video, one man touched her chest and exposed himself, while others threw beer, she told The Huffington Post.
The officers who came to her aid misgendered her and criticized her choice of clothing, she added.
A Paris prosecutor is investigating the incident as violence on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation, BBC News reported.
One individual was detained and later released, reported AFP.
Advocates and public officials, including the mayor of Paris, have spoken out against transphobia and called for justice.
However, some on social media have used the incident to promote racism and Islamophobia against Algerians.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.